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|Single by Nilsson|
|from the album Nilsson Schmilsson|
|B-side||"The Moonbeam Song"|
|Nilsson singles chronology|
"Coconut" is a novelty song written and first recorded by American singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson, released as the third single from his 1971 album, Nilsson Schmilsson. It was on the U.S. Billboard charts for 14 weeks, reaching #8, and was ranked by Billboard as the #66 song for 1972. It charted minorly in the UK, reaching #42. "Coconut" did best in Canada, where it peaked at #5. It was used in the films Reservoir Dogs, Practical Magic and Hey Arnold!: The Movie.
The lyrics feature four characters (the narrator, the brother, the sister, and the doctor), three of whom (narrator, sister, and doctor) are sung in different voices by Nilsson. The song describes a story in which a girl has a stomachache and calls her doctor who prescribes her the same drink that gave her the stomachache. With the help of her brother, they concoct a beverage consisting of lime and coconut. When the sister calls the doctor late at night, the doctor (annoyed at being awakened by such a complaint) laughs her off and recommends that she "put the lime in the coconut and drink 'em both together"—then call him in the morning.
There are no chord changes in the song: an arpeggiated C7th accompanies the song.
According to the 1971 LP credits:
- Harry Nilsson – vocals
- Caleb Quaye – guitar
- Ian Duck – acoustic guitar
- Herbie Flowers – bass
- Jim Gordon – drums, percussion
- Roger Pope – drums
Dannii Minogue version
|Single by Dannii Minogue|
|from the album Girl|
|Released||November 16, 1998|
(Original vocal production: DNA)
|Dannii Minogue singles chronology|
Dannii Minogue recorded the song in 1994 with UK dance producers DNA. When Minogue parted ways with Mushroom Records in 1995 and signed to Eternal Records in 1996, she had the track remixed by producers Flexifinger.
The track was originally used as a hidden bonus track on her third album Girl. It was subsequently released in Australia on November 16, 1998 as the fourth and final single from that album, peaking at #62 on the ARIA singles chart upon its debut, on the chart dated week commencing 23 November 1998.
In 2009, the original version of "Coconut" was made available on the compilation The 1995 Sessions.
- Other cover versions of the song have been recorded by the Baha Men, Fred Schneider (on the "Everybody Sings Nilsson" tribute album), Lazlo Bane (under the title "Lime in the Coconut"), Sprung Monkey, P.M. Dawn, and, according to a Nilsson website, the Alice Cooper Band.
- Flip Wilson (in his role of Geraldine Jones) covered this song in a fourth-season episode of his variety show along with Harry Belafonte.
- Kermit the Frog and other Muppet characters covered the song in a sketch on The Muppet Show (as part of episode 4.10, with guest Kenny Rogers). The scene showed Kermit in a hospital bed, having hurt his flipper after slipping on some oil on the floor in the theater, joining hospital staff singing the song as the room developed a jungle theme.
- The song was also used in commercials for Coca-Cola with Lime. These ads are set in a Coke factory and a corporate boardroom and feature various people incorrectly singing the line as "you put the lime in the Coke, you nut!"
- Fred Schneider performed the song on Late Night with Conan O'Brien after the release of the 1995 "Everybody Sings Nilsson" tribute album, for which the song was the lead single. He was joined on the show by the track's producer Richard Barone of The Bongos on lead guitar.
- The Baha Men (portraying the "Ha-Ha Men") covered the song in the ChalkZone episode "The Smooch".
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Billboard Top 40 Hits (8th ed.). p. 458. ISBN 0-8230-7499-4.
- UK Official Charts, 27 September 1969
- RPM Top Singles, September 9, 1972
- Nilsson Schmilsson (CD booklet: reproduced 1971 LP sleeve). Harry Nilsson. BMG Entertainment. 2000.
- "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Missing or empty
- Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
- Cash Box Top 100 Singles, September 2, 1972
- "Best of 1972 songs and music, on". Musicandyears.com. 12 November 2010. Archived from the original on 16 September 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2017.
- Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 30, 1972
- "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart: Week Commencing 23 Nov 1998". Australian Record Industry Association Ltd. Archived from the original on 2015-10-11. Retrieved 2015-10-11.
- "Lazlo Bane's Guilty Pleasures". cdbaby.com. Retrieved 2017-01-10.
- Coates, Tyler (January 7, 2015). "10 Essential Musical Moments From 'The Muppet Show'". Decider. Retrieved July 25, 2015.